Saturday, January 30, 2010

What has Obama learned about peace?

Marty Peretz in the NEW REPUBLIC (Unsentimental Education) asks what has Obama learned about peace?

In the early days of the Jewish state, its enemies were perceived as armies, with, here and there, a terrorist gang or two. Fair and square, so to speak. Now, the Palestinians do “asymmetrical warfare,” terrorism writ large. If they have sovereignty, they will not repair to armies, at least not in the early stages of “peace.” They will, as they have already more than amply shown in Gaza, wage war by rockets and missiles and other projectiles. I will state it simply: The prospect of irregular war requires Israel to man the borders with Jordan, where about 50 to 70 percent of the population is Palestinian, mostly disloyal to the monarchy, restive, and increasingly drawn by the allure of Hamas. A long time ago, my own ideal of an Israeli politician, Yigal Allon, military hero and social idealist, drew a map that was realistic in that it met all the threats (save the nuclear threat) his country could face. It was called the Allon Plan. Anita Shapira has written a biography of this exemplary man, Yigal Allon, Native Son. He died 30 years ago in February. In any case, he understood.

And, for all my slight disagreements with Bibi (and they are not more than slight), he understands as well. He is stuck trying to teach President Obama the sober facts. Only the sober facts can help him. But he will be angry learning.

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